He called the next day. I was relieved until he ripped into me about how irrational it was to continue to call him when he wasn’t answering. It never crossed my mind that he just didn’t want to speak to me. I jumped to some pretty illogical and catastrophic conclusions. This was not the first time that this had happened; the jumping to horrific conclusions and being so panicked that I could not breathe thing was a normal part of my existence. And, I thought it was normal to everyone until he called me crazy.
That was what it took for me to seek help. I went to a doctor. He made a diagnosis and I began treatment. One of the parts of treatment involved some breathing exercises. The results were not immediately better, but over time, I got better. Now, though I have an occasional bout of anxiety, it is no longer crippling. Now, when I am faced with situations that cause me to start down a slippery slope of disaster and panic, there is a quiet voice that whispers, “Just breathe….”
As I inhale and exhale, it gives me the opportunity to calm down and to reflect on the fact that God is in control. The situation may not always have the results I desire, but they will always be the best results. Earlier this year, I was driving home and the decision I made by faith and obedience to cut off a source of income was weighing heavy on my mind. I started to panic, imagining that my cat and I would soon be homeless, but then I heard, “Just breathe…” and I calmed down. I remembered that there has never been a time when God has abandoned me.
The issue was not solved immediately. I did not get another source of income that I was counting on earlier in the school year. I did not go to the mailbox and discover a random check. I had to tighten my budget, tithe, and trust God. Fast forward five months, God is in the process to replacing my source of income with an even better, more convenient work opportunity and I will be earning more than I was before. God is just good like that!
So, while you may not suffer from an anxiety disorder, the next time you, or the devil, tried to get you all riled up over the circumstances that surround you, just breathe. With each breath, think of a time when God saw you through a situation from which you saw no escape. Think of the many times that God looked out for you when you could barely look out for yourself. Reflect on His goodness and just breathe. Ms. EV